Households in Nyeri have to dig deeper into their pockets to buy onions as prices rise sharply due to a biting shortage. The price of a kilo of onions has shot up by 86 per cent, selling at Sh150 up from Sh80 last month. The new price has been caused by a shortage of supply from Tanzania which normally floods the markets with its high-grade onions. Traders are now being forced to rely on local crop that is selling at a wholesale price of Sh100 per kilo.
“At a time like now we are usually selling the Tanzanian onions which flood the market and earn us good profit but with the closure of boarders and limited movement, we are relying on what is locally produced,” Mr Cyrus Gichuki, a trader at the Nyeri open air market, told mobile.nation.co.ke.
Though Nyeri’s Kieni Constituency is a top onion producer, traders the county often prefer importing onions, saying they are cheaper.
“The imported onions are cheaper, sold in bulk unlike the local ones that are weighed in kilos,” added Mr Gichuki. He said that the local farmers sell their onions before they are mature, making them tom perish faster.
“While our neighbours enjoy support from the government which reduces their cost of production, I have invested heavily in cultivating and harvesting the onions and buying farm inputs just to produce a bulb of onion,” said Mr Warui Kahinga, a farmer in Kiawara.
They now want the government to cushion them from being pushed out of the market.